August 2019

July2019.pngJack was hoping for a home run. The optimistic Young Life leader had invited four high school boys to the beach; loaded the grill, hot dogs and soft drinks into his car; and started making the rounds to gather up his friends. To his disappointment, however, the first three kids were not home. If this had indeed been baseball, Jack would have been called out on strikes. Fortunately, Young Life leaders refuse to step out of the batter’s box until they make contact, and Jack finally connected with Danny.

“Danny was very shy,” Jack recalled recently, “so I started preparing myself for an awkward, quiet day at the beach.” The day might have been awkward, but it soon became clear, the day would not be quiet.

“I’m glad the other guys aren’t coming,” Danny said to Jack. “I have a lot of things to ask you.” Then he started chattering like a third baseman at a batter: How do you ask a girl on a date? Do you go up to her door and get her? Or is it OK to park in the driveway and start honking? Are you expected to meet her parents? And if I join the Army, will people still make fun of me? Or will the uniform make a difference?

Danny was slow in school and had learned to keep quiet to avoid ridicule from others. At the same time, he had no father, grandfather or uncle, so he was desperate for some advice on how to become a man. For Danny, a day alone with his Young Life leader was no less than a Grand Slam.

Thank you for supporting Young Life. Thank you for putting leaders like Jack in the lives of kids like Danny. Much like a baseball game, relationships between kids and leaders last a very long time. When Danny passed his Army entrance exam after high school, Jack took him out for a steak dinner. A year later, Danny texted Jack from Afghanistan to thank him for introducing him to Jesus and showing him what it meant to be a real man.

Thank you again for your support. It is a privilege to partner with you in Young Life.

In Christ for all kids,

Newton F. Crenshaw